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God Dominates Sunday Night Line Up

The Bible is a ratings winner, beating even The Walking Dead
Chris Crankshaw

Before you begin reading this opinion piece, I offer you full disclosure, I study the Bible in a group twice a week and am working out details to fit in a 3rd. Between studies and life I still try to read the ancient text wherever I can, all in an effort to understand what exactly happens between Genesis and Revelations.

More disclosure, I am an ex Catholic and an ex Atheist. I used to be very good at using passages found in the Bible to discredit the very concept of a Creator, especially a Creator that really did love us. It’s an easy trick to take verses out of context.

Just a bit more disclosure, I had a super natural life changing event on September 1st 2011. Since that day I have found a faith in God that I never thought possible. I believe that God made the universe exactly the way it is so that you and I could exist. People are born to wonder what the purpose of life is; they die asking what it all meant.

The Bible offers an answer; He made us to either love Him or not. Collectively we don’t. Collectively we have failed Him, from Abraham to me; humanity refuses to treat one another as we’d want to be treated. The Bible is hard to read even harder to grasp. Reading requires cross referencing and concordances and above everything else, a completely open mind. If you do not possess an open mind, you’re wasting your time. The show, The Bible is a complex story made into an easy to watch and understandable television experience.

Final disclosure, I grew up on Star Wars and Transformers, I was a huge LOST fan, I tune into The Walking Dead ceremoniously. If it’s not amazing, I can’t and won’t watch it. So when I read in the Huffington Post that the History Channel was airing The Bible, I thought it would be nice to see the stories I’ve been reading come to life in a way that could attract people like me and Mrs. Crankshaw, cool people into cool things.

I wasn’t let down.

The Bible is produced by Mark Burnett and his wife actress Roma Downey. Burnett is the executive producer of hit shows like the should’ve ended forever ago Survivor.

As a person who has spent hours reading about John Locke’s Smoke Monster from LOST, I was not only impressed by the History Channels interpretation of God in the burning bush but was in awe. Having heard the story as a child and reading it for myself as an adult I’d often wondered what that must have been like for Moses.

The Bible’s vision of this particular event was mystifying. A bright light outside Moses’ tent calls to him to comeoutside. Moses obliged the voice and was humbled by the giant pulsating blaze that set upon a scrub before him. It was beautiful.

The show is highlighting the main events of the Bible. It began with Noah in his ark telling the creation story to his family as the giant vessel rocked across the angry sea. Then the
show focused on Abraham and Lot. Next we watched Moses lead the Israelites out of bondage. I learned some things I didn’t know about Moses even though I just had read Genesis through Numbers. I missed in reading that his older brother, from being adopted, would become the Pharaoh who was the victim of God’s wrath when he refused to allow the Hebrews out of Egypt.

The special effects are better than any made for TV movie you've seen in a while. The story is being narrated which would usually be a deal breaker for me, but it adds to the feeling that we are only being shown the biggest plot points from the producers opinion.

Bumper teasers have shown us that we’ll see David slay Goliath and Jesus resurrected from death if we continue to tune in.

I will be tuning in.

The show premiered Sunday night. Monday morning, a quick search through Google News told the tale. Bloggers and reporters were saying that it wasn’t very good, and not very accurate, one guy wrote how he was tired of the same old stuff being recycled on TV. But Tuesday the articles were all about what a ratings hit The Bible was. It was reported that it even beat The Walking Dead. Now that is a news story all in itself.

The Walking Dead has been number one for a while now, breaking records networks weren’t able to fathom. So that should help you see just how big The Bible was. If you still need the actual data to process my thesis, The Bible attracted 13.1 million viewers, The Walking Dead had 11.3 million.

See for yourself; tune in Sunday nights on the History Channel.

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